From a great master of historical fiction comes a brilliant tale of love amid war. James A. Michener combines powerful storytelling with gentle sensitivity in this novel of a U.S. army man who falls for a fascinating Japanese woman against all odds. Major Lloyd Gruver considers himself lucky. The son of an army general, dating the daughter of another powerful military family, his future looks impossibly bright. Stationed in beautiful, exotic Japan, he just can’t understand guys like Private Joe Kelly, who throws away his life in the States by marrying one of the local girls. Then Lloyd meets Hana-ogi. After that, nothing matters anymore … nothing but her.
Reviews of this tell me this is one of those “guy pursues woman who doesn’t want him until she says yes” books. So we have rape culture on top of cultural fetishism, A+.
AUGH. No, you don’t understand. I think that is EVERY James Michner book. I love to read, I’ve been known to read books in a single day, but then (because I wanted to read more stuff about Hawaii) I picked up this.
This stupid book took me six months to read. It literally took me so long to read that I turned it back into the library and then BOUGHT a copy so I wouldn’t have to keep renewing it. That is six months of my life I can’t get back.
The book starts with inaccurate information about how Polynesians get to Hawaii (I’ll let it slide…MAYBE the correct information wasn’t available at the time of this books first publication) and then it goes into every major ethnic group that comes and sets down in Hawaii. Really it goes, LET’S SEE WHAT MAJOR ETHNIC GROUP WE CAN BE RACIST TOWARDS NEXT. The first majority of the book starts with the white American Protestant missionaries and he decides to make the main character an abhorrent ignorant twat. At this point Native Hawaiians are punted out of the book except for descriptions on how naive and stupid they are. Such as a mass of them running into the ocean to try and cool themselves when they have measles and then the majority promptly die.
This first half was made into a movie called Hawaii, staring Julie Andrews.
Then we come to the Chinese immigrants and then the Japanese immigrants. Each get some of the SAME treatments as the Hawiians. “Here, immediately go into these terrible conditions that we act like are terrible, really in the end justifies the means because then the white business owners own all of Hawaii!”
At the end SUDDENLY the the book changes into a first person point of view with the character thinking he is THE best because he’s the “Golden Man” and is the shining example of whiteness and leadership.
If you see the name James Michner, DROP IT. The book probably has nothing but racism, exoticism, sexism, probably at least one instance of implied or rape conditions, and characters that are just plain ASS HOLES.
As a writer, and one who writes historical fiction, there is a clear difference in making a character a racist and when the author IS a racist and has an agenda. Here’s a giant finger to you, Michner.
Oh blimey. This doesn’t surprise me at all, but what a pile of gross.